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Annual breakfast gives kids chance to meet favorite characters

Mar. 09, 2013 @ 11:55 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Leslie Culp is a smilemaker.

As co-chair of Saturday's 8th annual Character Breakfast, Culp called on her friends -- Batman, Cinderella and SpongeBob SquarePants -- to put smiles on the faces of 650 children and families who attended the Junior League of Huntington event.

"The smiles on the kids' faces is really why you do this," Culp said. "That's what makes it all worth it."

The Character Breakfast has grown to be a highly anticipated area event, forcing Junior League members to offer two breakfast times for the day. The event includes a full breakfast, music, crafts, vendors, concessions and more than 30 fictional characters.

"It's a great way for the kids to meet their favorite superheroes, princesses, and movie and book characters," Culp said. "And, for the Junior League, it's a wonderful way to show what we're all about -- which is community, volunteering and education."

Self-proclaimed Tri-State socialites and cousins Jennifer Ryland Baker and Carrie Jo Woods packed four excited girls -- ages three to 12 -- into their vehicle to attend Saturday's 11 a.m. breakfast. Bella Ryland, 6, was excited about seeing Mickey Mouse. Her cousin, Kendall Ryland Baker, 4, was looking forward to seeing SpongeBob.

"We come every year because the girls just love it," Baker said. "It's nice for families, and it's something the whole family can do together."

Anna Parker drove from Hurricane to attend her first Character Breakfast with her three-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, dressed as her favorite Disney princess, was wide-eyed at the sight of Dora the Explorer and Hello Kitty.

"She's getting to see characters she's only seen on TV or DVDs until now, so she's pretty excited," Parker said. "She'll talk about this all the way home."

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.

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